Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, April 4, 2020

This illustration in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR/TEGNA/AP) — Saturday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump again touts drug treatment

President Donald Trump is again touting a drug used to treat certain other diseases and says he may take it himself in hope that it will help fend off the new coronavirus.

Trump says “there’s a rumor out there” that hydroxychloroquine is effective, declaring “I may take it.” He has often pointed to hydroxychloroquine as a possible cure and urged people to take it, despite more sober assessments of its effectiveness by medical professionals.

The drug has long been used to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Very small preliminary studies suggested it might help prevent coronavirus from entering cells and possibly help patients clear the virus sooner. But the drug has major potential side effects, especially for the heart, and large studies are underway to see if it is safe and effective for treating COVID-19.

President warns US facing 'toughest' weeks ahead

President Donald Trump is warning that the U.S. is facing the “toughest” weeks ahead as the rise in coronavirus cases accelerates. “There will be a lot of death,” he says.

But after the somber start to his daily briefing on Saturday, he has come back again and again to his desire to get the country open for business. He said, “We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months. This country wasn’t meant for this.”

Trump, who met earlier Saturday with the heads of major sports leagues, said he wants to get the fans back in arenas as soon as possible. He also talked about wanting people to be able to go to restaurants again.

Nursing home residents may be moved to other facilities in Delaware County

The Delaware Health Officer says some nursing homes and assisted living facilities may be moving residents into facilities in Delaware County from facilities out of county where some of the population has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

"These same residents that could be moved are not being tested, testing is inadequate or inconclusive which may contribute to transmitting, generating or promoting the novel Coronavirus disease among the residents of these facilities in Delaware County," the Delaware County Health Officer said in a release.

Delaware County stressed that this is not the moving of ill patients. Residents who are well may be moved to other nursing homes without testing to see if they are positive.

Meijer to start monitoring number of shoppers in stores

Meijer is taking additional steps to make its stores safer for both customers and staff during the coronavirus pandemic.

All stores will be implementing a process monitor the number of customers in the stores in order to support proper social distancing practices.

Meijer is asking for customers' assistance by limiting the number of shoppers per trip.

Staff members will be taking health screenings and temperature checks as they arrive at the store each day.

Delta Air Lines pilots union: Over 50 pilots tested positive

The Delta Air Lines pilots union says over 50 pilots have voluntarily reported via text message that they have tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Delta, based in Atlanta, has about 14,000 pilots and 90,000 employees. Delta reported earlier this week that a ground handler in Detroit died of complications from COVID-19. The airline has confirmed that some employees have tested positive for the new coronavirus, but is not confirming specific numbers, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.

A recent Bloomberg report said some airlines have not been following CDC guidelines that ask carriers to notify employees when they've been exposed to someone with the coronavirus.

Joe DePete, president of the Air Line Pilots Association wrote in a letter, "Friday’s reports of the death from Covid-19 of an American Airlines flight attendant is especially sobering, and highlights the exigency of taking all needed measures to avoid further contagion of airline crew members."

Latest statistics on Indiana's coronavirus cases and deaths released

On Saturday, the total count for COVID-19 cases stood at 3,953. Of those cases, 53.8 percent are women.

Here's a full breakdown of the age groups making up positive cases:

  • 0-19: 1.6 percent
  • 20-29: 10.4 percent
  • 30-39: 13.7 percent
  • 40-49: 17 percent
  • 50-59: 19.9 percent
  • 60-69: 17.4 percent
  • 70-79: 12 percent
  • 80+: 8 percent

The health department reported 116 deaths. Of those deaths, 59.8 percent were men.

Here's a full breakdown of the age groups making up COVID-19 deaths:

  • 0-19: 0 percent
  • 20-29: 0 percent
  • 30-39: 1.7 percent
  • 40-49: 1.7 percent
  • 50-59: 8.6 percent
  • 60-69: 17.2 percent
  • 70-79: 31.9 percent
  • 80+: 38.8 percent

ISDH confirms 14 more deaths — equaling total number of flu deaths in the state for the season

The Indiana State Department of Health reports 516 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state — a 15 percent jump from the previous day's numbers.

As of Saturday morning, 3,953 people have tested positive for coronavirus.

ISDH reports 14 more people died, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 116, which equals the total number of people who have died from the flu this season.

The 14 deaths were reported in the following counties:

  • Clark — 1 (total at 3)
  • Hendricks — 3 (total at 4)
  • Johnson — 2 (total at 6)
  • Lake — 1 (total at 8)
  • LaPorte — 1 (total at 2)
  • Lawrence — 1 (total at 5)
  • Madison — 2 (total at 9)
  • Marion — 1 (total at 34)
  • Ripley — 1 (total at 2)
  • Vigo — 1 (total at 2)

On Friday, Martin and Union counties recorded their first positive coronavirus cases. Only five of the state's 92 counties remain without a single positive case (Benton, Daviess, Perry, Pike and Pulaski).

1,965 more people were tested for coronavirus on Friday, bringing the overall total to 19,800.

Worldwide cases reach 1.1M, US death toll passes 7,100

The number of U.S. deaths from COVID-19 were more than 7,100 at 4:45 a.m. Eastern Time on Saturday, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. More than a quarter of those are in New York City.

The worldwide total of confirmed COVID-19 cases is just over 1.1 million with almost 59,000 deaths and 226,000 recoveries.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Britain may ease lockdown measures by end of May

A scientist advising the British government on the coronavirus pandemic says it might be possible to loosen some lockdown measures by the end of May.

The U.K. has been under lockdown since March 23, with schools, bars, many shops and gathering places shut and people told to go out only for essentials or exercise.

Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, who sits on the government’s scientific advisory committee, said “we want to move to a situation where at least by the end of May that we’re able to substitute some less intensive measures, more based on technology and testing, for the complete lockdown we have now.”

He told the BBC that if the number of cases began to fall soon, then “we will be able to move to a regime which will not be normal life, let me emphasize that, but will be somewhat more relaxed in terms of social distancing and the economy, but relying more on testing.”

Newborn twins named Corona and Covid

A couple in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh have named their newborn twins Corona and Covid.

The twins — a boy and a girl — were born during the ongoing 21-day long nationwide lockdown that began on March 24.

“The delivery happened after facing several difficulties and therefore, my husband and I wanted to make the day memorable,” Preeti Verma, the 27-old mother of the twins, told news agency Press Trust of India.

The couple said the names would remind them about the hardships they faced during the lockdown and ahead of the successful delivery in a government hospital last week.

FDA fully approves KN95 masks for emergency use

The FDA posted an FAQ answering whether respirators approved under standards used in other countries, such as KN95s, can be used in the US during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The short answer is yes.

In response to continued respirator shortages, the FDA also issued a new Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for non-NIOSH-approved respirators made in China, which makes KN95 respirators eligible for authorization if certain criteria are met, including evidence demonstrating that the respirator is authentic.

Lastly, the FDA revised an immediately in effect guidance to help expand the availability of general use face masks for the general public and respirators (including N95 and KN95) for health care professionals during this pandemic.